Maple Vinegar Crispy Chicken

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr

We made this wonderful dish at Culinary Communion, with Chef Gabriel Claycamp. This recipe is a repeat favorite with class attendees, and they've been known to call Gabriel up years later, from halfway across the country, to replace the beloved recipe that they'd misplaced. :) Recipe posted with permission.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Begin the sauce by melting 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium high temperature, then add the shallots and cook until translucent.
  3. Add the pepper, nutmeg, and vinegar and bring to a boil, then add the maple syrup and return to a boil; allow to reduce by half and reserve.
  4. While sauce is reducing, begin working on the chicken by spatchcocking it: with sharp kitchen or poultry shears, cut the backbone out of the chicken by cutting along one side of the backbone, then along the other; turn the chicken over and remove the keel bone, then press down to flatten it; additionally, for this recipe you also remove the wings; do NOT remove the skin of the chicken.
  5. Season both sides of prepared chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Heat the oil or fat in a large, heavy oven-proof skillet over high temperature; when it is very hot, carefully add the chicken skin-side-down into the hot pan (place the chicken away from you, not toward, to avoid oil splatters).
  7. Cook over high temperature for approximately 10 minutes, checking to see that the skin is turning a nice, crispy golden brown.
  8. Turn the chicken over in the skillet, then place the entire pan in the pre-heated oven and continue to roast, basting often, until done and juices run clear, about 35-45 minutes.
  9. When chicken is done, remove it from the oven and the pan and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
  10. While the chicken rests, begin the topping by combining the melted butter and almonds in a small skillet, and sauté until the nuts turn golden brown.
  11. Add the leeks and cranberries and cook until leeks begin to go limp, about 5 - 7 minutes, then add the bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 3 minutes until crumbs begin to brown; remove and place in serving dish.
  12. Finish the sauce by removing the fat from the skillet the chicken was cooked in, then deglaze it with the sauce; pour completed sauce into a serving bowl.
  13. To serve: cut the chicken into serving size pieces, top with the sauce and then with the topping.
  14. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

First, I nearly ignored this recipe because I had never spatchcoked a chicken before and I thought it sounded too difficult. It wasn't. So don't let that put you off.

Second, the recipe was excellent. There are a lot of interesting flavours going on and the results were worth the effort. It made a very impressive dinner party dish. I cooked the sauce and topping earlier on and then let the chicken sit in a warm oven while we ate our starters. The sauce got a bit thick sitting on top of the stove, even with no additional heat, but it thinned to a nice consistency once I added the pan juices.

Third, I took the recipe at its word and used a fairly small pan to make the topping. This was my only mistake. Use a medium sized pan. There's a fair volume to the ingredients and if you want the breadcrumbs to toast properly, you will need a larger pan than you might think.

Rachel Savage September 03, 2012

I am not a culinary expert by any stretch but this recipe was easy to follow and very much worth the extra effort. "Spatchcock" was a whole new word to me but...thanks to Kasha's recommendation...I found a great video on the web that took out any guesswork / butterflychicken.html. The only change I made to the recipe was to use olive oil as that is all I had. Also, since it's over 100 degrees here I cooked the chicken on a separate pan in my toaster oven (didn't want to turn on the big oven). This recipe is fantastic and I will use it again. Because of the extra work (not that there's a lot but my toddler gets a little impatient) I will probably use it mainly for a special dinner or when company comes. Thanks glad I found this recipe and your page as I can't wait to try out some of your other recipes!

Empire920 July 27, 2006